The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has removed the surveillance zone that was put in place following the detection of evidence of low levels of lyssavirus in an imported sable in County Cork earlier this year. The zone and accompanying disease control measures were put in place to facilitate the necessary investigation and provide for a period of additional surveillance in the area on a precautionary basis. Following a full epidemiological investigation, Department officials have concluded that the risk has been appropriately managed and there is no further need for the zone to remain in place. The relevant legislation has now been revoked.
The Department would like to thank all of those who were involved in the disease investigation, including animal owners in the area and members of the public, for their cooperation.
While the Department deals with exotic disease threats on a regular basis, the incident serves as a reminder of the ever-present risk posed by exotic diseases such as Rabies. Increasing movements of animals into and throughout Europe means that everyone must remain vigilant to ensure Ireland remains Rabies free. Any person importing a pet animal from another country should be aware of the legal requirements which can be found here: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/pets/. Rabies is a notifiable disease in Ireland – if you suspect an animal is affected by rabies, you must notify the Department immediately, by contacting your local Regional Veterinary Office.